After four days driving around and camping in the Lake District of Patagonia, it was back to Bariloche for a night before another spot of hitchhiking – this time to El Bolsón. Even though it was only a 130km journey, it still took four rides and just as many hours, but we made it there eventually.
I had read about El Bolsón before I left Australia and have to admit that the hippy atmosphere, combined with a big craft beer scene was more than slightly appealing…
I tried a couple of brews at the Artisan Market, which is held every couple of days (although it seemed to be running every day at this time of year). The first of these was Lenga (a bitter ale) from Cervecería Pilker, followed by Cerveza Artesanal Piltri’s Stout – both not too bad, especially at $3 AUD a pint.
Unfortunately this meant that I didn’t manage to try any of their beers during my stay, therefore giving me a good reason to head back to El Bolsón at some stage in the future.
The other point I had read about early last year is that there are many refugios in the mountains around El Bolsón that are linked by hiking trails and which brew their own beer. Needless to say, this is something we didn’t miss out on and we ended up staying in one of the refugios and having a beer at two others.
These three refugios will be documented over the next few days, however it is worth mentioning that they all carry out the brewing process onsite in large plastic barrels, using water sourced locally – be it from a glacier or mountain stream.
All of the beers we tried were quite sour, but still decent brews after some more than demanding hiking. It definitely made it easier to get up the steep inclines knowing that there was a beer at the end of it all…